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The National Coal Council (NCC) is a non-profit advisory group to the Secretary of Energy, chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).
The Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) was enacted in 1972 (Public Law 92-463) to formally recognize the merits of seeking the advice and assistance of U.S. citizens while ensuring that the advice is relevant, objective and open to the public.

Expert members of Federal Advisory Committees provide federal officials with information and advice on a broad range of issues affecting federal policies and programs.
The public, in return, is afforded an opportunity to provide input into a process that may form the basis for government decisions. NCC FACA meetings are open to public and the public is provided an opportunity to speak at each meeting.

FACA requires that FACA committee memberships be “fairly balanced in terms of the points of view represented and the functions to be performed.” In balancing FACA committee membership, agencies are expected to consider a cross-section of those directly affected, interested and qualified in the subject area.

The strength of the NCC resides in the diversity and expertise of its members who have an extensive breadth and depth of knowledge about coal production, coal use, coal transportation and coal technology. This level of expertise and diversity allows NCC to provide the Secretary with a well-balanced perspective on critical energy issues.

Members are appointed by the Energy Secretary to serve on the NCC and serve in a voluntary capacity.

The NCC receives no funds from the federal government; NCC is totally self-supporting. To finance the activities of the Council, NCC relies on annual voluntary contributions from members, from the investment of Council reserves and from generous sponsors. Studies conducted for the Secretary of Energy are provided by the NCC at no cost to the Department of Energy.